Return to the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus.
John 15:5 - Apart from Me you can do NOTHING!!!
Jesus said apart from Him, we can do nothing. The emphasis was on the word “nothing”. That means, not only those things which we find difficult or incapable to do or when we are in need, etc, but also when things are easy for us and things that we often do on our own without involving God. Just because we can. Eg: taking up a new job, moving to a new country or city, marrying someone or getting into relationships, friendships, making large purchases or small purchases that we think we can afford, etc. Just because we can.
But Jesus said apart from Him, we can do nothing. But we do? How is that? Its because He/God sees us as separate from the world, dead to the world, redeemed and saved. So our new born again life that we now live CANNOT be lived apart from Him. Because we can’t do anything apart from Him (as His children); we have been given a Helper; the Holy Spirit. That means we actually DON’T NEED to make any decisions or do anything apart from Him. But if we still do, then this is the pride of life issue.
1 John 2:16 - For everything in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--comes not from the Father but from the world.
Romans 6:11 says “Consider yourselves dead to the power of sin….”
Romans 14:23 says “Whatever is not from faith is sin”.
So when you operate in the flesh, you are not operating by faith and that is sin according to this definition. This is why we need to “consider ourselves dead..”so that we can live by faith in Jesus Christ.
No one in the cemetery is considering themselves dead; are they? They don’t need to because they ARE dead. Because they ARE dead, the devil has absolutely NO power in the cemetery. Contrary to popular belief that cemeteries are where dead people's ghosts often wander, in fact the devil has absolutely no power there. He cannot oppress anyone there. The dead graves cannot be tempted, they cannot be lied to or deceived, they cannot be addicted to anything, they cannot watch nude movies and be affected by it, they cannot succumb to alcohol or drugs. The devil cannot do a thing there. Why? Because they are dead. The bible says, we need to consider ourselves dead to the sinful nature in us and to the worldliness or the system of this world. If we just did that, much of life’s problems are solved.
Let us assume that we all consider ourselves dead to the world and its systems. The next part of the verse says “and alive to God through Jesus Christ”. So how, does such a kind of life look like? This could well be the answer to whatever challenge you are facing.
“Being dead to sin, dead to the world and alive to God”?
Learn to see yourself as God the Father sees you. He sees you redeemed. He sees you as “not of this world”. He sees you as over comers. He has given you the Holy Spirit not just to guide you and lead you into all truth, but also to seal you as His. We need to learn to see ourselves as God sees us. Then live out that kind of life. I have 3 points or factors to experience such a life.
Eternal Life – Live with an eternal life mind set. John 3:16 When you received Jesus, that same moment you received eternal life. Eternal life BEGAN when you got saved and got born again. The new life that you got is eternal already. It’s a wrong mindset that people have. They think one day in future they’ll live forever and they will be in the presence of God. Nothing wrong with that, but that mindset causes you to separate out the spiritual life from the physical life in the flesh. This is why some people struggle with temptations and addictions. They have separated out their spiritual life from the natural life but haven’t understood the concept of being dead and being born again anew. And then you try to satisfy both flesh and you spirit which causes the struggle between flesh and spirit. Gal 5:17 says “the flesh wars against the Spirit”. So consider yourselves dead and then there is no war. Right? The moment we believed, at that very moment we became the offspring of God. One that is born of God. Because of that, we were born immortal and all things are ours. We are joint heirs with Christ. The New Testament is all about showing us our identity (who we really are) and teaching us to live the life of righteousness.
When you separate out the spiritual and the physical, then you live in fear of death and become enslaved to this world and its affairs. Everyone in the world is trying to prolong death as much as possible so that they can live a fuller life; longer. And we believers have got into that rat race as well. Instead, Live with an eternal mindset like as if you are never going to die. Why? Because you are already dead to the world and alive to God.
Hebrews 2:14-15 says Since, therefore, [these His] children share in flesh and blood [in the physical nature of human beings], He [Himself] in a similar manner partook of the same [nature], that by [going through] death He might bring to nought and make of no effect him who had the power of death -- "that is, the devil and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.
In other words, this is why Jesus came. When we live with an eternal life mindset and consider ourselves already dead, then the things of this world don’t matter to us that much. We just use the material things as tools to live life. We are dead to the world, but alive to God.
Live in righteousness – God gives us His own righteousness as a gift giving us the confidence and boldness to stand before Him. That position of being right with God not only justifies us but also empowers us to live godly. When you know you are righteous and when you BELIEVE that you are righteous, then you will live that way as well. The main problem believers have here is guilt and self-condemnation. Whenever they do something wrong, guilt sets in and they condemn themselves. If it doesn’t, someone near them will make sure they feel guilty by pointing out their mistakes. They feel that they have fallen short of the glory of God. Why? Because that’s how the flesh/sinful nature reacts. People say “that’s natural to feel that way”. No, its fleshly and worldly.
You say, “but the bible says everyone has fallen short of the glory of God”. True, the bible says that; but that is exactly why Jesus came. So if you are a believer now, you can never fall short of the glory of God except by your own will by rejecting Jesus Christ. So when you are dead to the world, but alive to God, then you can never ever begin to think that you don’t deserve to be in God’s presence or you are unrighteous or have fallen short, etc.
Romans 8:1 – There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus
2 Cor 5:21 – He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God.
John 17:16 – Jesus Himself says “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” . Wow! Jesus is making me equal with Him in this statement.
If that is the case, then why do we live like as if we are of the world?
The people of this world say “Be realistic”. “Be practical”, etc. What they are actually saying is “Adhere to the worlds system”. The worlds system is to better your life through prosperity, luxury, better homes, cars, maintaining your position of success in the world, carry a persona of being successful and so on. The worlds system teaches that there will be ups and downs in life. We need to be strong and face challenges in life, etc…All of that comes from a built-in sinful nature that rebels against God and want to achieve things in life apart from God. The biggest struggle of man is being drawn to the world and also being drawn to God. The Christian doesn’t want to give up either, but the way to true life is giving up one obvious one. Cutting off your flesh. Consider yourself dead to the sinful nature and the world and live a life alive to God alone. So if you consider yourself dead to the world and are alive to God alone, then what ups and downs in life are you talking about?
Fellowship with God = Don’t do anything apart from Him
James 4:4 says “Friendship with the world is enmity with God”. You cannot have an intimate fellowship with God if you are friends with the world.
People think friendship with the world means drinking, partying, gluttony, indulging in all sorts of pleasure, etc…No, friendship with the world includes all of those and also the worlds way of living life.
Eg: People imagine an ultimate godly life with a happy and peaceful family, no arguments at home, no misunderstandings, always having enough, no financial debts that steal their sleep, and they all want that life, but they also want money, they also want a car they dream of, they also want to show off and maintain a fake position of success, etc. Instead, just love fellowship with God and love your family members with the love of God. You will have that happy and peaceful family. But you have to give up love for the world and love for any self-indulging pleasure. Seeking self indulging pleasures and recognition in the world are not of God.
People ask and pray for the anointing of God on their lives. How are you going to get that? Many times you see people lifting their hands in worship services or conferences wanting the anointing of God. Then the preacher prays and they SEEM to get something, sometimes they fall down, etc…Next second, if someone asks them if they want the anointing of God, they ask again and lift their hands again. Like as if God is pouring out something little by little by little. No!!! We have the fullness of God in us according to the bible. Christ in us, the Holy Spirit in us. The bible says “Be led by the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh” – Gal 5:16. If we can be led by the Holy Spirit, then we have the fullness of the Holy Spirit in us.
If we consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God, then we can live the God kind of life and we won’t go seeking after feelings and Goosebumps experiences.
If you consider yourselves dead to the world and the sinful nature, then in effect you are saying you are not going to rely on your sensory perceptions to live life. In other words, you are not going to go by feelings or by this worlds way of doing things. What!!! But that’s the only way to live in this world. So how else can you live?
To be alive to God, you need FAITH. Romans 1:17 says “The just or righteous shall live by faith”. That’s a life style. Faith is not something that you use to get something from God. It’s a lifestyle of choosing to die to the world and live for God.
2 Cor 5:7 says “We walk by faith not by sight”. Why? Because if you are walking by sight, then you have not considered yourself dead to sin and to the world.
People think or the devil has deceived them into thinking that if they chose to live a life fully surrendered to God, then they are going to miss out on the pleasures and luxuries of life. They say its’ not practical and not realistic. That’s a lie from the devil. The apostle Paul lived with an eternal life mindset. He said “For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain”. He considered himself dead to the world. To the Philippians he said “I have learnt to be content in all circumstances.” (or independent of circumstances). It is a lie from the devil that you’ll miss out on life.
The bible says in 2 Peter 1:3 “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,”
Firstly, all things pertaining to life and all things pertaining to godliness has been given to us. That means we don’t miss out on anything both in life and godliness. Secondly, it comes through fellowship with Him. Its not through fellowship with the world and adding on a personal quiet time or prayer time or meditation time. It comes through knowing Him.
What does one want in life?
Peace, harmony, provision and love at home? – It comes by making Him the Lord of your household. As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord. Having family prayers together, etc..
Enough finances to live comfortably? – Give and it shall be given unto you, pressed down and shaken together… The answer is right there…
A fully content and satisfied life? – If you lose your life for my sake, you will find it. In other words, consider yourselves dead to sin and to the world and alive to God.
Isaiah 26:3 - You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You
Perfect peace means nothing missing in life. But it comes out of fellowship with God, doing nothing apart from Him.
Bless you all my dear family in the Lord.
I was radically transformed by the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ back in 1997 in a most unusual way and unusual place. Read my testimony here. Over the years I have come to realize a few basic truths that have altered my life.
True freedom is freedom from self-centeredness. Dying to yourself, your wants, your desires and to what gives you pleasure for the sake of others is more liberating than you think.